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Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology



Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology

Michael O'Neill (Editor), Charles Mahoney (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-21317-8 September 2007 Wiley-Blackwell 496 Pages


Easily adaptable as both an anthology and an insightful guide to reading and understanding Romantic Poetry, this text discusses the important elements in the works from poets such as Smith, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Barbauld, Byron, Shelley, Hemans, Keats and Landon.

  • Offers a thorough examination of the essential elements of Romantic Poetry
  • Highly selective, the text examines each of its poems in great detail
  • Discusses theme, genre, structure, rhyme, form, imagery, and poetic influence
  • Helpful head notes and annotations provide relevant contextual information and in-depth commentary
Selected Contents by Theme.

List of Plates.

Note on Texts and Editorial Method.

Index of Themes.

Chronology of Events and Poetic Landmarks.

Introduction: Romantic Doubleness.


Anna Laetitia Barbauld, neé Aikin (1743--1825).

The Rights of Woman.

Inscription for an Ice-House.

To Mr. S. T. Coleridge.

Charlotte Smith, neé Turner (1749--1806).

Sonnet 1 ['The partial Muse, has from my earliest hours'].

Sonnet VII. On the Departure of the Nightingale.

Sonnet XII. Written on the Sea Shore. – October, 1784.

Sonnet XXX. To the River Arun.

Sonnet XXXII. To Melancholy.

Sonnet XXXIX. To Night.

Sonnet XLIV. Written in the Church-yard at Middleton in Sussex.

William Blake (1757--1827).

from Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

(from Innocence).


The Ecchoing Green.

The Lamb.

The Little Black Boy.

The Chimney Sweeper.

Holy Thursday.

Nurse’s Song.

(from Experience).


The Clod and the Pebble.

Holy Thursday.

The Sick Rose.

The Fly.

The Tyger.

Ah! Sun-flower.


A Poison Tree.

Visions of the Daughters of Albion.

The First Book of Urizen.

The Mental Traveller.

The Crystal Cabinet.

William Wordsworth (1770--1850).

Lines written at a small distance from my House, and sent by my little Boy to the Person to whom they are addressed.

Simon Lee, the old Huntsman, With an incident in which he was concerned.

Anecdote for Fathers, Shewing how the practice of Lying may be taught.

Lines written in early Spring.

The Thorn.

The Last of the Flock.

The Idiot Boy.

Expostulation and Reply.

The Tables Turned; An Evening Scene, on the same subject.

Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on revisiting the banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798.

The Ruined Cottage.

Strange Fits of Passion I have Known.

Song: 'She Dwelt among th'untrodden Ways'.

A Slumber did my Spirit Seal.

The Two April Mornings.

The Fountain, A Conversation.


Michael, A Pastoral Poem.

From The Prelude (1805), Book 1.

Resolution and Independence.

The World is Too Much With Us.

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1803.

Ode (from 1815 entitled ‘Ode. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’).

The Solitary Reaper.

Elegiac Stanzas, Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle in a Storm, Painted by Sir George Beaumont.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772--1834).

The Eolian Harp. Composed at Clevedon, Somersetshire.

Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement.

This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison.

Kubla Khan.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


Frost at Midnight.

France: An Ode.

The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem, April, 1798.

The Pains of Sleep.

Dejection: An Ode.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788--1824).

Stanzas to [Augusta].

[Epistle to Augusta].

Stanzas to the Po.

Don Juan.

The Dedication.

Canto 1.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792--1822).

Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude.

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.

Mont Blanc. Lines written in the Vale of Chamouni.

Prometheus Unbound, Act I.

Ode to the West Wind.

Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, Author of ‘Endymion’, ‘Hyperion’, etc.

Felicia Hemans, née Browne (1793--1835).

Properzia Rossi.

The Homes of England.

The Spirit’s Mysteries.

The Graves of a Household.

The Image in Lava.


The Lost Pleiad.

The Mirror in the Deserted Hall.

John Keats (1795--1821).

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer.

The Eve of St Agnes.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Ode to Psyche.

If by dull rhymes our english must be chain’d.

Ode to a Nightingale.

Ode on a Grecian Urn.

Ode on Melancholy.

Ode on Indolence.

To Autumn.

Bright star, Would I Were Stedfast as thou art.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) (1802--38).

Lines Written under a Picture of a Girl Burning a Love-Letter.

A Child Screening a Dove from a Hawk. By Stewardson.

Lines of Life.

Felicia Hemans.

Index of Titles and First Lines

" ... this anthology's real strength lies in its wide-ranging, brilliant, and erudite annotations, which sometimes occupy as much space as the poetry itself.  One could nearly read this volume in lieu of formal instruction.  Packed with wonderful readings, excellent references (and recommendations for additional reading), extremely helpful footnotes, and engaging attention to the workings of form, Romantic Poetry:  An Annotated Anthology could make a significant contribution to many instructors, students, and general readers." (Keats-Shelley Journal)

"The head notes and commentary will prove invaluable, as they expertly identify literary sources and allusions.... The extensive biographies are superb, especially Charles Mahoney's on Keats, and the suggestions for further reading helpful ... Romantic Poetry does what it sets out to do and is a useful new addition to Blackwell's ongoing series of annotated anthologies." (Keats-Shelley Reviews, December 2008)

"The editors have a particular commitment to the role that an appreciation of poetic form can play in critical understanding, and it is on account of this formal detail that the anthology is so valuable. Introductory headnotes elucidate the subtleties of each poem's craft, while footnotes comment on line endings, rhyme patterns, and other features of the text. Some comments are so brilliantly incisive as to deserve separate publication, such as the account of the metre of Christabel: 'each line seems like a stealthy event' (p. 207). Without question, this is by far the best way that any reader could be introduced to these poets, and the anthology is careful not to suggest that an attention to poetic detail precludes other types of investigation. Understanding how a poem creates meaning, however, is the vital first step, and for this reason Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology will doubtless be the standard teaching anthology for many years." Year's Work of English Studies (2010)


  • Offers a thorough examination of the essential elements of Romantic Poetry
  • Adaptable as both an anthology and a guide to reading
  • Highly selective, the text examines each of its poems in great detail
  • Discusses theme, genre, structure, rhyme, form, imagery, and poetic influence
  • Includes the works of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Smith, Barbauld, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Hemans, and Landon
  • Helpful head notes and annotations provide relevant contextual information and in-depth commentary